Pepperspray videographer Patricia Boiko recently returned from Rwanda. This is her report, "Reconciling Rwanda." It has only been about 10 years since Hutu power fascists launched a genocidal movement against Tutsis, and a fair number of other Hutus. The horror of that moment has faded, and now Rwanda is stable, but under duress from former colonial powers who want to re-establish a foothold on the neck of the country. There are lessons for the world in Rwanda, from the past and the present. What does a nation do after neighbor has killed neighbor on a mass scale? How does a community get over it and move forward together? The current Rwandan government blames the shadowy hand of imperialism for setting up the genocide. Their case is bolstered by the fact that Hutu and Tutsi lived as neighbors, with no greater visible animosity than you might find between Catholics and Protestants in the US. But the flames of hatred were fanned, and the genocide happened. In the US, Catholics and Jews were targeted for hatred by right-wingers in the American south, but in Rwanda we see what happens when a community falls victim of that reasoning. There are probably parallels to be made with the Sunni and Shia of Iraq, who historically lived as neighbors, and who are now being turned against one another by outside forces in a divide and conquer scheme. This piece shows more though, it shows the better day of Rwanda today, where reconciliation is occurring, and hopes for peace and justice have re-emerged. It is a lovely piece, which will shape your thinking about that part of the world.
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